“I spray the sky fast. Eyes ahead and behind. Looking for cops. Looking for anyone I don’t want to be here. Paint sails and the things that kick in my head scream from can to brick. See this, see this. See me emptied onto a wall.”
– Cath Crowley, Graffiti Moon
Undefined, highly volatile, controversial and freeing, street art is a mind-boggling phenomenon. Nothing defines rebellion more than spray painted walls and it is a movement in itself. “But can street art be considered as an art form?”, is a question which still divides our society and most agree that it is a very strong art expression. A very integral element of the contemporary art world, street art is a powerful tool for venting out thoughts, opinions, and emotions. It ranges from mere tags, scribbles to full blown mindblowing murals and can be found in almost all urban areas in the world. What binds them all of together is the uniform lack of any restriction in the subject, style, and mediums. Street art is an open field, where everybody is free to choose as he/she wishes to express and it originates from the humble graffiti. During the 1970‘s, the world saw the beginnings of graffiti being splashed across walls and that was an era of rebellion.
The 1980‘s saw them evolve into a more artistic form and today, many wall murals are curated by the government of that city or country. Though still considered illegal in many places, (for example Singapore), street art is here to stay and today, the world is slowly coming to accept them as they are. However, it continues to remain an extremely polarising phenomenon and the reactions towards street artists also vary a lot. While, on one hand, the works of artists like Elura Emerald are celebrated in New York exhibitions, the murals of DPM Crew are legally judged as “a wholesale self-indulgent campaign to damage property on an industrial scale”.
This street art controversy will not end anytime soon and there is a very thin line between graffiti and vandalism. But no matter, whichever way, the scales tip, it is undeniable that street art is a lot of fun. In this series called “Writings on the Walls”, I have collaborated with many talented travel bloggers and their contributions are simply drop dead gorgeous. Beautiful murals from Reykjavik, Mumbai, Varanasi, Ghent, San Francisco and many other places have been collated and “Writings on the Walls” has become a visual delight. So, join us, as we travel the world in search of street art and have loads of fun along the way.
Our first featured traveler is the Quirky Wanderer. She also goes by the name of Divyakshi Gupta and is one exceptionally talented travel blogger. Visit her blog www.quirkywanderer.com for refreshingly beautiful travel stories, which are also told differently. And, here‘s what Divyakshi has to say about street art.
“Street art brings a place alive with its varied hues. An artist‘s imagination blends in a place and yet stands out. That‘s what intrigues me. You can interpret it, you may be right or wrong but it’s there: painted and imprinted. Adding beauty to a dull facade in its unique way! And that is beautiful”.
NOTE – “Writings on the Walls” is an ongoing series in which I hope to collate awesome street art from around the world. If you wish to collaborate, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can take it from there.
RESPONSIBLE TRAVELING-BECAUSE I CARE